ANOTHER CRASH IN CONGO LEAVES 4 CREW AND 4 PASSENGERS DEAD
(Posted 12th October 2019)
(File picture of the crashed Antonov72)
The crash of a Congo DR airforce Antonov AN72 near the town of Punia cost the lives of all 8 on board the aircraft.
The plane, part of the Presidential Logistics Support, had left the Eastern Congolese city of Goma on the 10th of October and was enroute to the capital Kinshasa, when radio and radar contact broke off and the aircraft went missing.
The wreckage was then found yesterday with no survivors and an air accident investigation is now underway.
The 32 year old aircraft first entered service in 1987 and was registered as EK-72903 while the manufacturer serial number was given as 36572020385.
Notably was it learned that the aircraft registration number is no longer found on the registry of Armenia and that the airline last reported as owning the aircraft has no current Air Operator Certificate.
This has prompted questions to be asked how these discrepancies could not have been discovered and how the aircraft was allowed to operate in Congolese airspace.
Soviet era aircraft like Antonovs and Iljushins have suffered serial crashes in past years in Africa, leading to demands to ban such aircraft types from the African skies, but to no avail as yet.
From added information received does it appear that several Russian nationals were onboard the stricken aeroplane, presumably the crew, while the passengers were part of the presidential support team including the President’s personal driver while the Presidential limousine was also loaded on board.
Condolences are expressed to the families and friends of the deceased.